Yesterday was Emily's first visit to the dentist. Yes, I know, some doctors and most dentists tell parents to take their kids when they turn 1. My doctor and a dentist-acquaintance both told me not to take the kids until they are 4, when they're more likely to sit with their mouth open and listen to instructions.
My plan was to take Emily soon but the date was moved up by her face-plant during our Christmas tree cutting. About a week after that accident one of her front top teeth started to turn grey and she complained of pain in her gums above that tooth.
She was very stressed about the idea of a visit to the dentist. I promised her to find her a kids-only dentist and, on her insistence, it had to be a woman. After an Internet search I discovered Kids and Teens Dentistry in Bells Corners, pretty much the only show in town dedicated to pediatric dentistry. It was a pretty good drive from our house but as you'll see, totally worth it.
Well, as usual, Emily surprised me completely. She was really excited to go. When we got there, the two girls headed into the Kids Room to watch Dora and play with the toys (which included a full Thomas Train Table). By the way, they also have a video game room for older kids and teens with an XBox 360 I'm told. After I completed all the paper work and Emily had her photo taken for their records, she went into the examination room, the Playground Room (all of the rooms have hand-painted murals of different themes). She jumped into the chair ready to go. First thing was x-rays. I personally hate dental x-rays but Emily was perfect. She didn't complain and held perfectly still. When the dentist came in to count her teeth and examine them quickly, Emily held her mouth open and answered all the questions. By this time, Hope had found us and was begging to sit in the chair too. The wonderful dentist put both of them in the chair and gave them a ride up and down.
The x-rays showed trauma to the root but the dentist said that we'll wait and see. It could repair itself; it could get worse. We'll go back in 5 weeks to have more x-rays and a cleaning and find out what's going on.
In the meantime, the dentist recommended that Hope have her first appointment soon. I agreed since she seemed happy to be there and keen to have her turn and so she'll get her chance in April.
The end of the visit meant each girl got to choose a treasure from the purple treasure chest. Why aren't there adult dentists like that? I think a lot people would be more willing to go if they gave us toys out of a purple treasure chest.
Meanwhile, I notice that our insurance company won't cover us for the x-ray of Emily's front teeth. WTF? That's $40 this time and $40 next time. I'll be calling them today to complain. It probably won't do any good, but I want to know the why.
All in all, it was an amazing experience, which I've never said about a trip to the dentist before. I like my dentist but I don't like going at all, like most people. While Emily will now have good thoughts about the dentist, for me, I see the dentist a bit more like this: